On the morning of a very proud day, I thought back to when Laura was celebrating her fifth birthday. We watched her open envelopes and gently tear wrapping paper. Bows decorated her head and shirt. When she opened an envelope that contained some dollar bills, Laura held them in her hand, and shouted, “Money” in a nasally voice, which made her grandparents and other family members laugh.
“That’s for college, not a car,” said Grandpa. We all chuckled, except for Laura whose eyebrows drew close together making her look concerned. Some of Laura’s closest family members secretly programmed her little brain into thinking about going to college at a very young age.
“Oh,” Laura said as she stretched out her smile. We could tell by the way she tilted her head that she was about to say something.
“Mommy, what’s college?” she asked.
We all smiled at each other, and I explained that it’s a school where people go after high school. I knew that thought was too much for a kindergartener to grasp.
Many other proud days went by, and the day arrived where we would witness our dream for Laura come true. Like most school events, my husband and I ended up sitting way in the back. As usual, this made me wonder what time the other parents arrived to get the front seats. Mike’s parents were with us too, and we were happy to find seats by the aisle. Spotlights glowed showing the path where the graduates would soon walk. We waited patiently and watched the later arrivals scramble about trying to find a seat as the orchestra played unfamiliar tunes.
The president of the college started the procession, with the guest speaker, and professors. They paraded down the aisle and looked as if they were characters from a Harry Potter movie with their flouncy hats and long robes. Then the graduates entered, some with smiles and others with wide eyes in search of familiar faces.
“There’s Laura,” my husband whispered. I grabbed my camera and in all the excitement, I couldn’t see her. “Where is she,” I thought. Mike could see my confusion. “She’s there, coming around the corner.”
She walked by me with a big smile. She looked back, waiting for the camera bulb to flash. Sometimes trying to capture a memory can ruin being in the moment.
Still my spirits were high and after all the graduates passed by, the president began her speech, and I listened as best I could to her, the guest speaker and valedictorian. They all gave inspirational talks about how the graduates could make a difference in the world.
Then the moment came when all of Laura’s hard work was rewarded by her receiving her diploma. Now she has a degree, and “no one can ever take that away.” The guest speaker words echoed in my head and reminded me that it was all worth it.
One of the best things about being a parent is being a part of proud moments like these even if you have to sit way in the back!
Having fun celebrating with cake!